as expected

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Nov 2017 11:32:45

IT WAS only expected that Pakistani authorities would, sooner than later, release dreaded terrorist and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed from house arrest in Lahore. Even as this was happening, United States President Mr. Donald Trump’s Administration in Washington asserted that Hafiz Saeed was a terrorist leader designated as one by the United Nations as well as the US, with a bounty of USD 10 million on his head, for his role in terrorist activities, including his involvement in the Mumbai terror attack in 2008. Saeed’s release from house arrest may be considered by some as a setback to India’s effort to bring the terror-mastermind to justice.

However, those who have studied the manner in which Pakistan supports terrorist activities, do not feel much disturbed by this development. They knew right from the beginning when the Pakistani authorities held Hafiz Saeed under house arrest in January this year that Pakistan would continue with this house-arrest drama for a while and then release the dreaded terrorist the moment things appeared ‘comfortable’ to do so.

The Pakistani authorities completed the whole drama in full detail, so much so that they asked for an extension of Saeed’s detention by three months. The Judicial Review Board (JRB) of Punjab province in Pakistan, however, ruled out the Government’s request and cleared the way for Saeed’s release. For its part, the Government played its role to the fullest, pressing all along for extension of detention. And, playing its part in full measure, the JRB ordered Saeed’s release. The effort, thus, was to show the world that everything was being done under the guise of correct procedures etc.

All this drama is an integral part of Pakistan’s ruling structure. Pakistan is one country in which all components of power-structure concur on how to handle terror-related issues. In the past so many decades, there is not one single component of Pakistan’s power-structure that showed a consistent opposition to terrorism per se. If the political component expresses verbal opposition to some terror activity, the other components including the judiciary or the Army express solidarity with terror policy. And all this happens as per a grand plan to keep the world guessing all the time.

Of course, by now, the whole world knows the ugly underbelly of Pakistan’s power-machine. It is common knowledge that Pakistan would not mend its ways unless it is made to behave. It is also common knowledge that Pakistan has never treated itself as a nation but limited its identity only to a client state, willing to be exploited by anybody who has the ability to do so. For a few years after 1947 when the influence of founder Barrister Mohammad Ali Jinnah was still intact, Pakistan conducted itself as an emerging nation. Yet, very soon, the State of Pakistan left behind its trappings as a nation and became a totally political entity, something that has continued to this day.

In the Hafiz Saeed episode, it was obvious from the beginning that Pakistan would always fudge the real detail and would try to present itself as an innocent State that had become victim of terrorist machinations of whatever nature. That mask wore off soon and the world realised that Hafiz Saeed was being supported officially by Pakistan. The drama that preceded his release endorses this point very well.

It is good that the Trump Administration has insisted that Hafiz Saeed is a designated global terrorist by the United Nations as well as by the US. This weakens Pakistan’s case still further. Some time ago, Pakistan had officially worried about Saeed’s safety. That worry would never be over. For, no terrorist as dreaded as Hafiz Saeed can remain free from the security burden.